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Marais des Cygnes Massacre Site facts for kids

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Marais des Cygnes Massacre Site
1973 National Park Service photo of the site
Nearest city Trading Post, Kansas
Area 43 acres (17 ha)
NRHP reference No. 71000317
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP June 21, 1971
Designated NHL May 30, 1974

The Marais des Cygnes Massacre Site, also known as Marais des Cygnes Massacre Memorial Park, is a state historic site near Trading Post, Kansas that commemorates the 1858 massacre of the same name. On May 19, 1858, during a period of political instability and sporadic violence known as Bleeding Kansas, a group of pro-slavery border ruffians captured 11 abolitionist free-staters. The prisoners were forced to a nearby ravine, where 10 of them were shot, resulting in five fatalities. The abolitionist John Brown later built a fort near the site. The first commemoration at the site was two stone markers erected by men of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry Regiment in 1864, although these monuments had been destroyed by souvenir hunters by 1895. In 1941, the land where the massacre occurred, as well as an 1870s-era house constructed by a friend of Brown, were transferred to the state of Kansas. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974. The Kansas Historical Society administers the site, which is interpreted by signage and a hand-cranked audio recording.

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